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a question about Toronto Prog, Breathe, and the crowds

Discussion in 'Progressive Room' started by spoony d, Mar 11, 2002.

  1. spoony d

    spoony d TRIBE Member

    Okay, I need some honest talk here. I know that System has had some pretty good success with the Friday night party. Lots of hard work on many fronts, to make a hugely respectable night. But I have to ask this question.

    How much success if fueled by the fans of the dj's/music, and how much is fueled by the club and it's consistant Friday party. I ask this cuz I'm not in Toronto much anymore, but am always interested club dynamics.

    so.. for comparison, let's take Twilo.

    you'd figure a mega-club like that, just drew crowd, regardless. Big name, big clubbing city, you'd think no brainer.

    Honestly, on any given Friday night, only about 3~400 people were random off the street, just showing up to Twilo, crazy german tourist types. The rest of the crowd, actually read the flyers every week, and actually only came to hear specific talent. This lead to 3000+ people in line for SnD or PVD nights, or 800 in the room and no line ever for Sven Vath, or even DJ Dan (what a small night that was... shame cuz he SLAUGHTERED).

    So be honest here. I know Toronto clubbers are generally super tuned in (i say that cuz I am one). But is this really the case? If you took any Breathe lineup and moved it to another equally appointed nightclub... how do you think it would draw?

    and please don't misunderstand, I'm not suggesting anything here, only looking for an acute analysis of Toronto's clubbing climate.
  2. AdRiaN

    AdRiaN TRIBE Member

    Clubbing Dynamics

    That's a tough question. System Soundbar used to have a pretty consistent crowd on Friday nights before BREATHE. The club has always attracted clubbers looking for a more "underground" and "all-night" kind of place.

    On the other hand, I know a large proportion of Breathe regulars are attracted specifically by the style of music. This crowd would certainly follow Breathe to a new venue if they happened to move.
  3. TraNceAhoLic

    TraNceAhoLic TRIBE Member

    when toronto stops breathing............you get science
  4. Guest

    Guest Guest


    i personally find that the crowds here are pretty into whats going on & seem to follow the trends better than i would have expected.

    when we came back from the UK after almost a decade there, i was shocked to find out how much the clubbers, record buyers, etc... actually knew.

    granted, they may not have the knowledge of a UK market but as far as North America goes, Toronto is on the ball...without question. these dj's & parties wouldnt be here if that wasnt the case.

    however, a prime reason the UK public does know so much is because of radio. this is the only way that you can get a mass population to become exposed to new & innovative, underground music week in, week out. buying mixed cd's just isnt enough. it has to become mainstream where specific dj's, events, clubs, etc...become public knowledge.

    this has to happen...i cant understand why it hasnt already. there is a market for it (if its done properly).

    stations like 1.groove have led the way & opened doors & for that, and they deserve a lot of credit. but a scene in a major city needs more. we need an underground dance music radio station!

    when that happens, the scene will explode.

    jerome @ release
  5. mandapanda

    mandapanda TRIBE Member

    for me it doesn't have much to do with the club. if they moved to another place i'd go there. i go for the music, not to go to breathe. although i do like system, there are loads of other places i enjoy and i'm certainly not religious about one specific club. so really, it has a little to do with both, but it's much more about the djs that they bring in than the venue itself.
  6. The Magical White Isle

    The Magical White Isle TRIBE Member

    Some thoughts.....

    Firstly, mad respect to the Breathe crew for bringing insane DJ's from abroad (while at the same time promoting local talent) and throwing wicked parties very often in the city. Highlights of mine inlclude, Lawler, Howells, Deep Dish, Nick Warren among others.

    Secondly, I don't think you can separate the crowd, the dj and the venue from the equation of 'what makes a night, a night' as it is all of these factors together that make a party what it is. System, and let me mention that I love the place, has it's reputation of being a dark, dungeony, young club. Consequently, and you see this on non 'massive' DJ nights, you get a smaller crowd and a demographic of partiers which you can pigeonhole into that 'type' of segment. So you bring in a big DJ, and what happens? As many have said, Toronto is in touch with the electronic scene, so you get a rammed System Soundbar with all types of people, ravers, sketch balls, strippers, homosexuals (gay and/or lesbian) straight people, black white or whatever. Yet when I speak to friends sometimes, I still get an 'apprehension' of going to System because of what the reputation that it supposedly has. So then take the Deep Dish event at the Kool Haus. A venue that for all intents and purposes, doesn't have the same reputation as being 'seedy' (granted it was a B&H event, but put that aside). The place was rammed and was a wicked party, why? 1) Deep Dish - insane DJs. 2) The venue - big place, not too much of a bad rep, well decortated etc. 3) The people - all walks of life enjoying themselves.

    In my opinion, as good as Breathe Fridays are (and I fucking LOVE them), it is a party like the B&H Deep Dish Kool Haus event that our scene should strive for on a consistent basis. You had insane music, a good looking/spacious place, and the best crowd you could ask for. Can System get to that level? Some times it does, but the place/venue itself limits the potential of the night to a certain extent. I think the renovations may help, but I have yet to see them myself. That's my two cents on the issue.

    With respect to NYC, if you take a look at Vinyl, you'd probably see the same thing as you do at System. A great night when DT spins, which is usually quite busy and with a relatively good crowd (but you do get many sketchballs). On non DT nights, I think the place is relatively quite. My knowledge base for seeing non DT nights comes from me passing by the club on those nights once or twice, and one time going in to pick up DT tickets and seeing it empty inside. I could be wrong, but I think the analogy holds as well.

    Hopefully my rant makes sense to you guys.

    Much love and respect,
  7. djcheezwhiz

    djcheezwhiz TRIBE Member

    further to jeromes point...

    canadian radio has sort of stepped backwards in the past decade...outside of the standards (ckln, ciut, 100.7) there has been a sterilization of radio in this country...10 years ago, we had saturday nights on cfny, energy 108 all had shows focused on the burgeoning dance/underground music scene in toronto...
    i'm not saying the uk is the ideal model, but you have to give credit for stations like bbc and kiss for promoting & offering such amazing leading edge programming...

    it's interesting that cbc is currently looking at revamping its format with more of a focus on "youth" culture...will this lead to interesting and cutting edge programming??? who knows...

    so you have to give credit to the canadian & more specifically in this example, toronto crowd for being so in touch with the scene...from house, to jungle, to progressive & everything in between...zero mainstream support (although sponsors are now quickly jumping on the bandwagon)...it's through sites like tribe, having dedicated promoters interested in promoting local talent & bringing in some of the worlds best on a regular basis...& historically, from chemistry to lifeforce to industry to breathe...

    so i do believe you have to give respect to the toronto partiers for knowing & understanding what is going on...!!! torontonians are fickle...don't mess us around, we won't forget easily...but if you throw good parties on a consistent basis, with excellent local talent & throw the occassional big jock/ette in the mix, we will support you en mass...& be loyal to your event...hence the popularity of breathe & it's continued success...i think few scenes in the world touch ours in toronto...even nyc!!! i'm having more fun than ever...& it doesn't look like it's going to stop soon...as the happy mondays said "24 hour party people"...

  8. AdRiaN

    AdRiaN TRIBE Member

    Mainstream Exposure

    Hey? Why has everyone completely forgotten about Electric Circus?! :)
  9. Par- T

    Par- T TRIBE Member

    I can only speak for myself - but I follow the music, I haven't been loyal to one club since Industry. Certainly not System (which I still hate, only slightly less now with the renos), so when Breathe brings someone in I need to see, then I go, otherwise I'm somewhere else.
    Breathe has a great night and knowlegable crowds who I think would follow to a different club, were they to relocate.
  10. spoony d

    spoony d TRIBE Member

    wow, thank you for all the well considered responses.

    so most of you are suggesting basically that Prog talent can compete in Toronto on a Friday in a setting outside of System (assuming Breathe is still running there)?
  11. Jazz

    Jazz TRIBE Member

    Pretty much in agreement with you re: system... I go when breathe brings in a DJ I want to see... otherwise I go somewhere else... and I think that rings true for a lot of people in T.O... From what I've seen, it seems that the crowds follow the DJ's/big parties, and are not specifically loyal to one promoter/party...

    It seems like Guvernment is taking their bookings up a notch with their new Science series which is focusing on Progressive DJ's... and will provide breathe with some competition... I'm betting that the crowds will follow, as long as the names are there... next friday will be a good indication, the first science party has a really strong line-up so I'm betting the crowds will follow...
  12. dimpy

    dimpy TRIBE Member

    yeah, basically if you provide the music and the names i think the crowd will follow. case in point the turnout at system on the saturday which satoshiie tomie (sp?) played. usually a "true" house night, I noticed it attracted a lot of the friday night regulars.

    but at the same time in the cases where there aren't headliners i think the reputation of the venue has a lot to do with it. for example, within the last 2 months i've started going to comfort zone and despite all the horror stories, i love (and this is someone initially coming from the dress to impress rnb scene)

    i think that there are certain places that establish a 'cheers' like, home away from home atmosphere for regular pariers (i'm talking weekly), industry could probably be described as such a place. these are the places that you bring newbies, out-of-towners, and just seem to end up at if nothing else particularly appealing is going on.

    that's how i see it anyways, but then again what do i know?
  13. Richard Raiban

    Richard Raiban TRIBE Member

    The way I see it, as much as I'd love to see an underground radio station (as Jerome mentioned) I just don't see that happening, and if it does then I don't see it lasting too long. The reality is, North America is dominated by the hip hop/r&b/rap/& pop culture BOTTOMLINE. North America isn't as 'educated' as a whole like the Europeans. I don't see this changing anytime soon. For every 1 person who likes shall we call it 'electronic' music (all genre's) there are like 10 people who like hip hop/r&b/rap/or pop. It's a numbers game. I don't think this will ever change.

    (I hope I'm wrong)
  14. Proton

    Proton New Member

    As far as radio's concerned...I think that it's gonna take sometime
    before we get a new station that plays quality music all day/all time.

    in the meantime ...why not check Proton Radio out? :p

  15. Silverback

    Silverback TRIBE Member

  16. Guest

    Guest Guest

    I was once crazy about the whole Friday night Breathe package. Loved the DJs they brought in, the residents, the crowd, the vibe, the venue. It was everything I needed at that time.

    I still make 1 or 2 visits a month, but like all things, the magic of something new inevitably turns to the staleness of repetition. There's not much anyone can do about this. I think for me, it mostly has to do with the venue. I'm bored of going to the same place, so I've been scoping out different clubs.

    This coming friday, one of my favorite DJs is playing at System, yet I'm going to Paul Walker in Hamilton instead, just cuz I need a change.
  17. Che

    Che TRIBE Member

    Oh Josh, thats weak. There's no excuse to miss Howells.
  18. Metal Morphosis

    Metal Morphosis TRIBE Member


    I agree
    Never EVER miss Howells if you can help it
  19. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Maybe I'll come if you give me a lollipop.
  20. JayIsBored

    JayIsBored TRIBE Member

    if you don't go you'll still get one, inserted sideways...and not in the mouth
  21. Che

    Che TRIBE Member

    I'll give you much more than that!
  22. Guest

    Guest Guest

    I'm feelin' the love. ('cept from Jay cos he's an assplunger)
  23. I-Drop

    I-Drop TRIBE Member

    Systems great..

    Breath are the only promoter ive seen bring Jimmy V M which gives them top bill in my books...

    thats all
  24. AdRiaN

    AdRiaN TRIBE Member

    Ummm ....

    Jimmy van M spun in Toronto at MEOW, opening for Digweed, about a year before he came to System. Just for the record.
  25. JayIsBored

    JayIsBored TRIBE Member

    he also spun a wicked set at roxy back in oct 2000 i believe

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